San Pedro, CA. The Worthington & Caron Law Firm is pleased to report
that on August 30, 2023, a Cook County, Illinois jury returned a $40.75
million verdict in favor of our clients, the family of Bruce Torgerson,
deceased, against John Crane, Inc. (Circuit Court of Cook County Court
Case Number 2019L012850).
The verdict, one of the largest awarded by a Chicago jury in an asbestos
injury case, comes nearly five years after Bruce Torgerson first experienced
symptoms from what was soon determined to be mesothelioma—the “signature”
cancer caused by asbestos.
At the time of his diagnosis, Mr. Torgerson was a 77-year-old retired engineer
who was enjoying a well-earned retirement living with his wife Annette
in idyllic Morro Bay, California. After serving his country in the U.S.
Army, Mr. Torgerson worked over 40 years as a laborer, engineer, and salesperson
in the oil refining and industrial machinery fields.
Prior to his passing in December 2019. Mr. Torgerson testified that throughout
much of his career, he was exposed to dust from asbestos-containing gaskets
and packing made by John Crane.
Through procedural maneuvering on the part of John Crane, Mr. Torgerson’s
family was forced to litigate its claims against John Crane in Chicago,
where John Crane is headquartered. After years of delay, the case finally
proceeded to trial in August of this year.
Lead trial counsel, Scott Frost, of the Frost Law Firm also based in San
Pedro, California, masterfully presented evidence of John Crane’s
liability along with heartbreaking evidence of Mr. Torgeson’s rapid
demise at a time when his wife Annete was suffering from the effects of
early on-set Alzheimer’s.
On August 30, after a short deliberation, the jury returned a verdict of
$40.75 million in favor of the Torgerson family.
“Words can’t express how thankful we are for the jury’s
thoughtful analysis of the evidence in this case and the justice they
have brought to the Torgerson family,” said John Caron of Worthington
& Caron. “I’m also extremely proud of the tenacious and
compassionate prosecution of the trial by Scott Frost and his team.”
The verdict included $30 million for Mr. Torgerson’s loss of life
and suffering and over $10 million in damages for his widow Annete and